Greece is the birthplace of some of the most respected intellectuals of history: Socrates and Plato. Thousands of years after their death, their work still continues to inspire many. Translated into several languages, their work has inspired thousands of people to learn the Greek language. Whether it’s so they can better understand the way ancient Greeks thought, or to get to know more about the culture; the Greek language has a rich background and history.
Greek words in the English language
Even modern-day languages have borrowed some of its structures. And many words in the English language have a Greek origin. While language continues to evolve, it has many interesting aspects people are unaware of.
If you’re visiting the gorgeous country this year, here are 7 fun facts about the Greek Language you should know:
1. The Word, “Alphabet” derived from Greek:
You learn something new every day. The word ‘alphabet’ derived from the Greek language. Two alphabets make up the word. These are alpha (α) and beta (β).
While we use Roman letters in English, the word refers to the first two alphabets of the Greek language!
2. The Longest word in Any Language is Greek:
Most people think “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is the longest word. It is, in fact, not. There is a Greek word which is longer that beats every other word. Not only is it long, it’s difficult to pronounce (unless you’re Greek!).
If you’re a brave soul, see if you can pronounce it:
3. 12% of the Words in English are of Greek Origin:
The Greek language has influenced the English language. There are many scientific words found in English that are of Greek origin. This is because Greek intellectuals influenced modern-day research.
These words are: Astronomy, biology and mathematics. In addition, almost every word that starts with ‘Ph’ has derived from Greek.
4. The Greek Language was the First to Use Vowels:
It may come as a shock since, in school, we learn that vowels play an important role in linguistics. But the Greek language has a long, ancient history. It has been around since the 9th century BCE. Before Greek, languages used consonants.
5. It Was Written from Right to Left:
Just like Arabic and modern-day Hebrew, Ancient Greek used to go from right to left. After it went through several changes, the Greek language changed to the left-to-right format.
6. The Question Mark is a Semicolon:
Not only is the Greek language unique and different from English, it has different punctuation. The question mark for Greek is a semicolon (; ) and not the-used one (?).
7. There Were two Versions of Greek:
But in 1976, the Greek government adopted Demotic as the official version of Greek.
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